890F.6363/91

The Acting Petroleum Adviser (Rayner) to the President of the California Arabian Standard Oil Company7 (Davies)

My Dear Mr. Davies: I have received your letter of December 27, 1943, addressed to Mr. Wallace Murray, outlining your plans and intentions, now in a preliminary stage, in connection with the construction of a pipeline, which would transport oil produced by your company and possibly other oil as well, from the producing fields in eastern Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean, and inviting the Department’s comment. I wish to thank you for informing us of this project and giving us an opportunity to comment upon it.

First I wish to say that the Department, from the viewpoint of both the war time and long-range importance of petroleum, favors the development of all possible sources of that product, and is glad to see American companies participate in that development. The construction of a pipeline, such as the one you contemplate, would appear to be in line with these objectives, and the Department therefore would in principle look favorably upon such a project.

However, there are now certain questions and developments relating to oil in the Middle Eastern area to which a project of this nature must be properly related. In this connection, we note with pleasure [Page 13] that you have every desire to conduct the enterprise in question in complete accord with the policies of this Government and with full regard for any relevant international agreements to which this country might be a party. Moreover, a project such as that in question must be viewed in the light of military requirements and the materials situation.

Accordingly, we will appreciate being kept informed of the progress of your plans as they become more specific and, if, in the light of those plans and the above-mentioned circumstances, it should be agreed that the project should be advanced, you may be assured that this Government will assist you in every appropriate way with other governments concerned in regard to your endeavors to secure such rights and safeguards as may be necessary in connection with the construction of the pipeline.

Sincerely yours,

Charles B. Rayner
  1. The company changed its name to the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) on January 31, 1944.↩